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Poster: Reade Date: Dec 27, 2010 11:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH; Acoustic Explorations on a Theme

Your points are well made.
One thing I wasn't suggesting was that this acousitc direction was unique to them, or even surprising or radical in any way. I'd track back even a little farther than CSN or Woodstock. 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo' ('68?) blew it all open in terms of giving everyone permission to get back to softer sounding stuff that told stories. Blowing minds with loud, electric, sometimes largely lyric-less tunes was still allowed but becoming increasingly optional. The whole scene was undeniably headed in this general directon. Merl Haggard got popular. Johnny Cash got his own TV show. The Stones do 'Dead Flowers' on Sticky Fingers. You could spend all day plotting pushpins on a map showing how it was all flowing in this direction.

What I was suggesting was that by '69, though relatively early in the game to us now, the band was already perceived as 'The good "ol Grateful Dead.' They had carved out an amazing place in the musical spectrum for themselves with a likewise uniquely rabid following. By wanting to test this stuff perhaps a little gingerly at first was just natural given the loyalty and expectations of their fan base. Even when one fully intends to go swimming in the ocean they sometimes put their toe in the water initially to gauge things.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Dec 27, 2010 11:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH; Acoustic Explorations on a Theme

Thanks for bringing up the subject, you happen to hit on two of my favorites from '69 with the Santa Rosa and SMU shows. Aside from being great listens, they are definitely worth discussing because they are great examples of a band starting to head in a new direction and doing it in front of their audience.